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From the Visalia Times-Delta
Breeding a complicated process
Not all female dogs know how to deal with giving birth

By David Castellon
Staff writer

Breeding dogs is not for amateurs, experts say.

First of all, forget the notion that all female dogs know how to care for their puppies, said Dr. Stuart Sorensen, the veterinarian who runs the Valley Oak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Spay and Neuter Clinic in Visalia.

"A lot of cases, the [female] doesn't know what to do. She doesn't take care of [her pups] at all," such as licking the slimy afterbirth off the newborns, he said, explaining that if this doesn't happen -- or a human isn't around to clean off the newborns for the mother -- the puppies can choke to death.

In addition, if the mother abandons her pups entirely, the puppies won't get colostrum from a first feeding of the mother's milk, which is vital in protecting dogs from some diseases until they're old enough to get vaccinated.

So owners who figure they can leave the births and after-care of puppies to the parent dogs may be in for some rude awakenings.
And most dog owners aren't going to want to deal with the expenses that come with their dogs becoming pregnant unexpectedly, said Dr. Nan Kuswa, a Visalia veterinarian.

"They're called 'oops litters,' " Kuswa said, adding that out of the pregnancies she sees at her office, 10 percent to 20 percent occur in dogs with owners who want their pets to breed.

And Kuswa said she has seen her share of "repeat oops."

Fairly common in Tulare County are "backyard breeders," those who breed dogs sporadically and in small numbers to make money, said Billy Harmon, the county's director of animal control. Unfortunately, Sorensen said, backyard breeders are not going to spend money taking their dogs to a vet.

"They figure nature will take its course," he said.
"There are some good breeders, but they are minorities."

Kuswa said people who want to breed dogs properly should start by researching the breeds and finding members of kennel clubs that specialize in those breeds.

People who want to buy puppies from breeders need to be equally diligent in their research.
[ May 30, 2004, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
 

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I'm not telling. ;)

AIBO Society Bids for Recognition by AKC
Sony’s robotic dog AIBO, one of the most sophisticated of robotic pets currently on the market, has many devotees. Owners describe the AIBO as a wonderful companion capable of meaningful interactions; they gather in online chatrooms and share tales of training their robots, which they consider the equal of any canine out there.

So it is perhaps no surprise that the AIBO Society of America has petitioned the American Kennel Club (AKC) for recognition...

The AKC has not, so far, been receptive to the idea.

"Well there's the problem first of all that these robots aren't dogs," said Dennis Sprung, president and CEO of the AKC. "But more troublesome to us frankly is the definition of a breed standard. Our goal is to define and preserve the purest bloodlines possible. If Sony decides to outsource production of AIBO components to another company, is the AIBO still a purebred? Is hacking the thing's programming analogous to genetic manipulation?"
 
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